New projects underway at Village at Riverwatch

Construction work will be a common sight at the Village at Riverwatch during the next several months as an auto repair shop breaks ground and an upscale apartment complex begins to take shape.

 

The newest addition to the shopping center is an Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers shop, to be at 822 Cabela Drive, just east of the Costco on a three-quarter--acre parcel that abuts the parking lot of the regional Comcast office.

Farther east of the new repair shop, across from the Delta Air Lines call center at the end of Delta Drive, will be a 260-unit luxury community called Riverwatch Apartments. That project, developed by metro Atlanta-based InterMark Development LLC, was announced last year and will include private boat access to the Augusta Canal. Work began earlier this spring.

The 4,300-square-foot Express Oil franchise, the metro area’s second, is still a vacant lot. Eric Hardiman, the franchis ’s owner-operator, said the company hopes to break ground in the next four weeks, with an expected completion date by Dec. 1

Hardiman also manages the Birmingham, Ala., company’s Washington Road franchise in Evans. Hardiman, who joined the company at age 18 and worked his way into a management role, said that shop has become the eighth-highest performing out of the company’s 225 stores.

“We wouldn’t be expanding to this store if the one in Evans wasn’t doing so well,” said Hardiman, who took over the Evans shop from the previous owner-operator in 2011. “We had six employees there, and now we’re up to 14.”

Although the company specializes in quick oil changes and tire services, the bulk of the space at the new shop will be occupied by the service shop, where more complex repairs will be performed. Hardiman said he expects to employ 20 employees between the two shops.

Planned next door to the Express Oil Change, on the north side, is a 12,000-square-foot retail strip center that will extend to the corner of Cabela and Delta drives, opposite the Riverwatch Cinemas theater.

Dennis Trotter, of Jordan Trotter Commercial Real Estate, the Augusta firm marketing the Village at Riverwatch, said no tenants have committed to that project yet.

Riverwatch Apartments will consist of seven four-story apartment buildings containing one- to three-bedroom units. Amenities in the $950- to $1,375-a-month community include a bocce ball court, a dog park, a fitness trail and elevators in each building.

The community will be operated by InterMark’s Columbia-based property management affiliate, which oversees 11,000 multifamily units nationwide and 750 in the metro area at four communities: Woodcrest, Woodhill and Cobb House in Augusta and Gatewood in Aiken.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3352 or damon.cline@augustachronicle.com.

 

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